March 04, 2013, 8:44 PM — Already a platinum member of the cloud operating system platform OpenStack, IBM officials said open source code from the project will be the foundation of the company's cloud strategy moving forward, including a new product it announced today.
At the company's Pulse show in Las Vegas, IBM announced SmartCloud Orchestrator, a service that helps customers configure the compute, storage and networking resources for applications to run on the company's SmartCloud platform.
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Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of middleware software for IBM, says there's a lot of talk about the debate between public and private clouds, but he believes customers will more likely end up using both in a hybrid world. Open source tools, like OpenStack, he says are critical for supporting common platforms that span public and private clouds, which is why the company plans to "fully adopt OpenStack in our products and services," he says.
That could be somewhat of an issue though: The basis of IBM's cloud strategy is SmartCloud, which combines a pay-as-you-go public cloud offering, with components for customers to launch a private cloud or have dedicated hosted infrastructure, along with even a platform as a service (PaaS) offering, according to the company's website. IBM developed SmartCloud before OpenStack was founded two and a half years ago though, so LeBlanc said SmartCloud is not running on OpenStack at this point. Will it in the future? "We're on a continual journey," LeBlanc said about integrating OpenStack into the SmartCloud Platform. "But we think this is a major step in that journey."
SmartCloud Orchestration, which IBM dropped today, is built on OpenStack. It's mean to provide a simple graphical user interface for deploying, managing and automating cloud resources and it allows users to automate applications running in the cloud. It also provides a self-service portal with metering and charge-back features.